CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the cancer with which Alida Verdone's cousin was diagnosed. Her cousin was diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma. The story has been updated to reflect this change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Supporters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society were able to relive their high school years for one night Saturday.
Looking Glass Cafe in Carrboro hosted the event — billed as a Second Chance Prom — to raise money for the nonprofit organization.
Tickets were $20 for an individual and $30 for a couple. The event raised about $850 for the society, said Colie Taico, who organized the event.
Taico said she has been volunteering for a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society program called Team In Training for several years. She said she hopes to raise $2,000 through events that she’s been planning with friends and family — including the prom.
“All of the money goes towards research and patient care for people who have blood cancers,” she said.
Taico said she has personal connections to the cause.
“I’ve had some loved ones, some close ones in my life who've had blood cancers, so it’s just near and dear to my heart," she said.
"Treatment has advanced a lot in the past 25 years, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Taico organized Second Chance Prom for the same cause in 2009 at the cafe. Her hope is to make it an annual event so more people from the community can get involved.
The prom included music, wine and a photo booth for attendees. Some participants who were interviewed said they learned about the event through Facebook and decided to come support Taico because they also cared deeply for the cause.
Raleigh resident Alida Verdone, who is also involved in Team In Training, said she has a cousin diagnosed with stage four Lymphoma.
“Until my cousin is cured, and practically millions of others, I’d still continue, because it’s a good cause," she said.
Graham resident Norma Hawthorne, who has had two friends diagnosed with Leukemia this year, said she wanted to help support the cause.
“I just feel like if I can help with donations to support people and to support the research, then I want to do that, ” she said.
Elysse Thebner, a dietician for the UNC Eating Disorder Program, said she had fun at the event.
"Reflecting back on prom in high school the first time around is something that happens every once in a while," she said.
Laura Houston, a UNC graduate student, said she often comes to Looking Glass Cafe to study and was also there on Saturday, when the cafe took on an entirely different atmosphere. Houston participated in a triathlon with Team in Training about three years ago.
The Looking Glass Cafe has held several community events like this one since it opened, said Carolyn Griggs, Looking Glass owner.
“I think, as a business owner in this area, it’s really important for me to give back to the community whenever I can,” Griggs said.
“We’d like to sort of be the spot that anybody can come to, whether they just want to study, or they want to raise money for a charity, and anything in between."
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